China’s green ambition

China looks to become a green-power export juggernaut, consolidating its lead in global high-technology sales, writes Michael Richardson for Asia Sentinel.

China is rapidly becoming a global colossus in renewable energy as it seeks to reduce reliance on polluting fossil fuels and establish itself as the top clean-power manufacturer and exporter.

The US government has belatedly recognized the challenge and in December convened the first meeting of a high-powered private-sector advisory committee charged with developing a clean-energy export-expansion plan. At the same time, the US Export-Import Bank announced increased financing for “green” exports, about US$500 million for the next fiscal year.

US plays catch-up: Boosted by official subsidies, China leaps ahead in alternative energy. Pic: Asia Sentinel.

The US is destined to lose this battle for dominance if Congress refuses to pass an energy policy. As part of a compromise on the US tax bill, lawmakers agreed on 17 December to extend a tax-credit scheme for another year, offering developers of wind, solar and other renewables grants worth up to 30 percent of development costs.

But America needs a more coordinated approach if it’s to compete with China in clean-energy manufacturing and exports.